LESSONS 14 – 15 PRINCIPLE 5: Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make…
LESSONS 7 – 11
Principle 4: Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8)
STEP 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. “Let us examine our ways and test them and let us return to the LORD. (Lamentations 3:40).
Recap of The Previous Step
In the previous step, we learned how to TURN to God, –Trusting in His powers, leaning on the Understanding of His word. We sincerely Repented and started a New Life. We started taking ACTION – by Accepting Jesus as our personal savior, committing to doing his will and Turning all our lives over to him. We learned this is only the beginning of a lifelong process, therefore, we must take this recovery process One day at a time, as we get prepared to take the Next steps.
LESSON 7 – SPONSOR
To succeed on this path to recovery, we need to be honest and truthful to ourselves in totality. A Sponsor is someone who is ready and willing to walk with us, holding us accountable and ensuring we don’t give up along the way before completion. Having someone help to keep us honest is a real plus towards a successful full recovery. A Sponsor is not afraid to point out when he/she sees signs that we are relapsing to the old lifestyles. It is human nature to rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticisms. Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:5, “It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools”.
A good sponsor must be someone whose Christ-like life example is worthy of emulation. He or she must be a good listener who sincerely cares and remains committed to our recovery. He or she must be disciplined enough to maintain any confidential information we share with him/her as well as not taking advantage of our situation. We don’t need a ‘Sponsor’ who will rail-road our vulnerability to an unhealthy relationship. So needless to stress that a Sponsor should be someone of the same gender. In addition to having a Sponsor we need to relate with other people in the same program, as an ‘Accountability Group’ so we can take stock on our progress.
LESSON 8 – MORAL
In this step, we make an inventory of all the significant events—good and bad—in our life. MORAL here means: Make time, Open, Rely, Analyze, List.
Make time: Make time each day to be with God alone, study the Bible, meditate on it, and listen to God’s voice in the spirit. “But if not, then listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom” (Job 33:33)
Open: You have kept your hurts, hang-ons and habits secret all this while. Now is the time to open up and let the truth come out. “Therefore, I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul” (Job 7:11)
Rely: Rely on the strength that God gives to go through this: “O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful and fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD”, (Psalm 31:23-24)
Analyze: We must analyze our past honestly, ready to face our faults. “The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one’s inmost being (Proverbs 20:27)
List: In this step, we make an inventory (a written list) of both negative, positive events of our past and go through them with our Sponsor. “Let us examine our ways and test them and let us return to the LORD” (Lamentations 3:40).
LESSON 9 – 11 INVENTORIES
In this step we will need pen and paper to write down in 5 columns so that we will deal with each one after another. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice”. (Ephesians 4:31)
COLUMN 1: “THE PERSON”: In this column, we list the person(s) or object we resent or fear.
COLUMN 2: “THE CAUSE”: In this column we list the specific actions that someone did that hurt us.
COLUMN 3: “THE EFFECT”: In this column we write down how that specific hurtful action affected our life in the past and in the present.
COLUMN 4: “THE DAMAGE”: In this column we list what was damaged as a result.
COLUMN 5: “MY PART”: In this Column, we honestly determine the part we are responsible for.
Human beings show three different character- the character we exhibit, the character we think we have, and the character we truly have. Under spiritual inventory, we will identify the strengths, weaknesses, character flaws and sins in order to take steps and make amends in our life. This is akin to a ‘Soul-search’ to sift those things either our spirit or conscience feels guilty about. This involves a close examination of our relationships with others, our priorities in life, our attitude and possible integrity issues. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” (Psalm 139:23).
We start by taking inventory of:
Our Minds: Straight living cannot come out of crooked thinking. What preoccupies our minds – productive thoughts that strive towards righteousness or unhealthy thoughts such as violence, materialism, pornography and other worldliness that are self-destructive?
Our Bodies: It is through our bodies or flesh that Satan works. Abuse of alcohol, drugs, food, or sex all happen through the body and flesh. But Bible says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Our Family: We take an inventory of our family lives. Identify people we mistreated, people we are still resenting, unhealthy secrets we have been keeping, etc, and make amends
Our Church: We take an inventory of our participation in our church and determine if we have been either active and faithful or rather critical and discouraging others. “…not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
The important thing to have in mind is that we are not alone, there is nothing to get ashamed of. Our lives are about to get better. With the help of our Sponsors and accountability groups we will remain on course to recovery.